Winners & Losers

This week’s biggest Winners & Losers

Who’s up and who’s down this week?

City & State

Many Pennsylvanians up north got their first taste of winter with the snowy weather this week, even as places like Philadelphia are approaching their snow drought record. They’re not the only ones being left out to dry. Another gridlocked week in Harrisburg has resulted in House lawmakers leaving town for the rest of month, likely leaving some child abuse survivors without the long-awaited constitutional amendment that they hoped would be on the May primary ballot. 

Scroll down for more of this week’s Winners & Losers!


Helen Gym -

The former school teacher and Philadelphia City Councilmember got a big boost recently when the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers endorsed her in the city’s mayoral race. The teacher’s union gave Gym four times as many votes as the candidate who finished second – and is one of the city’s biggest advocates for public schools.

Ben Kirshner -

An executive order signed by Gov. Josh Shapiro created the new Office of Transformation and Opportunity, which will focus on developing and leading growth strategies and economic development projects. The point-person for the new gig? Ben Kirshner. Kirshner, a former CEO of a performance marketing firm, said he hopes to make the commonwealth a “national leader in innovation and job creation.”

Timothy DeFoor -

Auditor General Timothy DeFoor released a report this week that revealed questionable practices by 12 school districts who tucked money into reserve accounts before raising local property taxes. DeFoor said the districts used a “shell game” to utilize a Department of Education referendum, normally used in emergency situations, to hike up local taxes. Knowing the popularity of property taxes in most areas, we imagine most people wanted to tell the district to take a hike.


Jeffery McFadden -

The Union League of Philadelphia, led by McFadden, has been in the city’s ire this month as it awarded its highest honor, the Gold Award, to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. The controversial Republican was the point of protest for organizations such as the Black Clergy and NAACP – and even some factions within the Union League argued he was unworthy of the honor for a variety of reasons, including elevating voices of election deniers and banning books.

Shawn Denning -

The Greensburg Police Chief has been named in a federal indictment that lists six counts related to aiding and abetting the distribution of cocaine and meth. The top cop, Shawn Denning, allegedly connected a confidential informant with drug supplies and sent menus and prices along with them. That makes him sound more like a Denny’s than a dealer. 

Luke Bartholow -

He’s not Eric or Bob, but he’s after the sheriff. Luke Bartholow, a Schellsburg man, was charged this month with threatening to blow up the Bedford County Courthouse and eat the county sheriff. Bartholow, who violated a protection from abuse order, was recorded by the victim as he threatened the sheriff and to kill everyone inside the courthouse with an explosion.